In my last entry, I wrote about the need to allow God access to the hidden places of our emotional unhealthiness that hinder our spiritual effectiveness. Moses’ failure to deal with his emotional pain led to his making a critical mistake that cost him dearly. How did Moses get to this point? How did he get from asking to see God’s glory to stealing God’s glory? How did he get from blessing God’s people to blasting God’s people?
As I reflected on these questions, an image came to mind from old Western movies. When someone wanted to seal off a canyon or remove rock from a mine, they would take bundled sticks of dynamite, attach a long fuse, light it, and wait for the big boom. There was always a delay before the explosion as the slow burning fuse made its way to the TNT. The only ways to prevent the resulting damage were to 1) disconnect the fuse from the dynamite, or 2) stop the fuse from burning. In other words, explosions are not spontaneous occurrences, but are the result of the coming together of a particular set of factors over a period of time.
Our “bombs” are potentially explosive situations such as criticism, disrespect, conflicts, elders that fight, and sheep that bite. Our “fuses” are our unhealthy attitudes. Explosions happen when our unhealthy attitudes are permitted to burn – to exist and grow unchecked. When our fuses encounter our bombs, explosions happen.
I think these two points are important for me to share:
- We have virtually no control over the existence of bombs. However, we have complete control over the length and igniting of our fuses. We have no control over how people will react to us or what they will say to us, but we do have control over how we choose to respond. We need to take responsibility for our attitudes and actions and spend less time lamenting and stressing over what others say and do. I’ll address this issue in a subsequent entry.
- Because bombs don’t explode instantaneously, we have time to recognize the reality of our fuses and take corrective action. The point here is that there are indicators in our lives that we are heading for an explosion. Paul exhorts us to “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” (I Timothy 4:16). God loves us too much to permit us to run off a cliff with no warning that the bridge is out. But if we ignore His voice, quench His Spirit, or fail to practice ruthless self-examination and personal discipline, it will be bombs away.
In my next entry, I will show how our attitudes are indicators of how close we are to striking the rock.